Today in History

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 1, 2019

Today is Friday, Feb. 1, the 32nd day of 2019. There are 333 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On Feb. 1, 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they’d been refused service.

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On this date:

In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York. (However, since only three of the six justices were present, the court recessed until the next day.)

In 1862, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a poem by Julia Ward Howe, was published in the Atlantic Monthly.

In 1942, during World War II, the Voice of America broadcast its first program to Europe, relaying it through the facilities of the British Broadcasting Corp. in London.

In 1943, during World War II, one of America’s most highly decorated military units, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up almost exclusively of Japanese-Americans, was authorized.

In 1946, Norwegian statesman Trygve Lie was chosen to be the first secretary-general of the United Nations.

In 1959, men in Switzerland rejected giving women the right to vote by a more than 2-1 referendum margin. (Swiss women gained the right to vote in 1971.)

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, South Vietnam’s police chief (Nguyen Ngoc Loan) executed a Viet Cong officer with a pistol shot to the head in a scene captured by news photographers. Richard M. Nixon announced his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

In 1979, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini received a tumultuous welcome in Tehran as he ended nearly 15 years of exile.

In 1982, “Late Night with David Letterman” premiered on NBC.

In 1993, Gary Bettman took office as the National Hockey League’s first commissioner, succeeding the NHL’s final president, Gil Stein.

In 1994, Jeff Gillooly, Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, pleaded guilty in Portland, Ore., to racketeering for his part in the attack on figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in exchange for a 24-month sentence (he ended up serving six) and a $100,000 fine.

In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry, killing all seven of its crew members: commander Rick Husband; pilot William McCool; payload commander Michael Anderson; mission specialists Kalpana Chawla, David Brown and Laurel Clark; and payload specialist Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli in space.

Ten years ago: The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 to win Super Bowl XLIII (43). Rafael Nadal held off Roger Federer to win the Australian Open, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2. Olympic great Michael Phelps acknowledged “bad judgment” after a photo in a British newspaper showed him inhaling from a marijuana pipe. Australian firefighter Dave Tree was photographed giving water to an injured koala found in burned brushland in Victoria state; the rescued female koala, dubbed “Sam,” became an Internet sensation, but ended up being euthanized in August 2009.

Five years ago: The United Nations’ secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, pressed the U.S. and Russia to help ensure that peace talks aimed at stemming Syria’s civil war would resume soon after a week of peace talks ended in Geneva with no concrete progress. Ray Guy became the first punter elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame; joining the long-time Oakland Raider were two first-time eligible players, linebacker Derrick Brooks and offensive tackle Walter Jones, as well as defensive end Michael Strahan, receiver Andre Reed, defensive back Aeneas Williams and defensive end Claude Humphrey. Peyton Manning won his fifth Associated Press NFL Most Valuable Player award in a landslide. Academy Award-winning actor Maximillian Schell, 83, died in Innsbruck, Austria.

One year ago: Republican State Rep. Don Shooter was expelled from the Arizona House because of a lengthy pattern of sexual misconduct, making him the first state lawmaker in the U.S. to be booted out since the #MeToo movement emerged. Sheriff’s officials in Los Angeles said new witnesses had emerged in the 1981 drowning death of actress Natalie Wood, prompting investigators to name her former husband, Robert Wagner, a “person of interest” in what they considered a “suspicious death.” (Detectives later said the evidence hadn’t reached the threshold for a murder investigation and that they had no plans to file criminal charges.) A judge ordered a Wisconsin girl, Morgan Geyser, to be committed to a mental hospital for 40 years for stabbing a classmate when she was 12 years old to curry favor with the fictional horror character Slender Man.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Stuart Whitman is 91. Folk singer Bob Shane (The Kingston Trio) is 85. Singer Don Everly is 82. Actor Garrett Morris is 82. Bluegrass singer Del McCoury is 80. TV personality-singer Joy Philbin is 78. Comedian-actor-director Terry Jones is 77. Political commentator Fred Barnes is 76. Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is 75. Rock musician Mike Campbell (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 69. Blues singer-musician Sonny Landreth is 68. Actor-writer-producer Bill Mumy is 65. Rock singer Exene Cervenka is 63. Actor Linus Roache is 55. Princess Stephanie of Monaco is 54. Country musician Dwayne Dupuy (Ricochet) is 54. Actress Sherilyn Fenn is 54. Lisa Marie Presley is 51. Comedian-actor Pauly Shore is 51. Actor Brian Krause is 50. Jazz musician Joshua Redman is 50. Rock musician Patrick Wilson (Weezer) is 50. Actor Michael C. Hall is 48. Rock musician Ron Welty is 48. Rapper Big Boi (Outkast) is 44. Roots rocker Jason Isbell is 40. Country singer Julie Roberts is 40. Actor Jarrett Lennon is 37. Rock singer-musician Andrew VanWyngarden is 36. TV personality Lauren Conrad is 33. Actress-singer Heather Morris is 32. Actress and mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey is 32. Rock singer Harry Styles (One Direction) is 25.